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Sunday 4 December 2016

Dear Rosanna: 'I've put on two stone since moving in with my boyfriend and feel like a blimp'

Rosanna Davison
Rosanna Davison
Rosanna Davison

Putting on weight after moving in with a boyfriend, friends slagging off cheap clothes and a depressed sibling are the problems this week

Q: I've put on two stone since moving in with my boyfriend. He swears he doesn't even notice, but I hate being this size and it's not something I've ever had to think about before.

At home, my mam cooked all our meals and always had fruit in the house and only broke out the biscuits a couple of times a week.

I was 27 when I moved out and had basically never cooked or even really made a sandwich - I moved in with him and ate what he ate but he's mega into sport so he burns it all off, and to be honest, I do think men find it easier to stay lean.

I've never exercised, basically because I never had to, so I don't even know where to start with diet and gym and I am not the sporty type at all.

I've seen lots of people joining gyms over the years and not get anywhere with the whole thing and eventually they stop going. I'd like to sort out my weight gain by understanding how it all works from an exercise and nutrition point of view, but I just don't know where to start.

A: This tends to be a common occurrence when a girl either starts up a relationship with a man or else moves in with him.

It's tempting to enjoy cosy nights in with a takeaway, plenty of sweet treats and indulgent dinners out. I put on weight when I started dating my husband! But portion sizes tend to be absolutely key in this situation.

It's okay to cook together and eat the same meals, but as he's very active and you're not, you need to be careful about eating man-sized portions.

I suggest you get into the habit of serving yourself roughly half of what he eats, and even start using a smaller plate.

Obviously don't let yourself go hungry, but eat mindfully and stop when you're three-quarters full.

As for exercise, going out for fast walks three to four times a week is a great place to begin and totally free. In the near future, you may want to join your boyfriend for gym sessions and really work on your fitness.

Q: I can only afford cheap clothes and a make-up because we don't have much money.

Even with my part-time job, I have to use some of that money for school stuff - that's the deal I made with my parents and it's not something I disagree with.

It's really my pals, who tease me mercilessly for not having the label clothes or MAC make-up, that annoy me.

Some are just good-natured about it but other girls are just downright nasty about me not having the money to compete.

I always think of brilliant things to say after they are snippy to me in front of other people, but at the time I'm being slagged, I just go silent.

How dare these so-called friends tease you about not having the money to buy certain designer labels.

That really makes me sad, and shows how shallow and fake these girls really are.

Friends should support you through everything and be understanding that people struggle financially. It doesn't change the person you are in any way.

I'm actually a big fan of some of the low-budget make-up brands as they're just as good as the more expensive ones.

These days, it's cool to be economical rather than extravagant. So my advice is to ignore the bullies and spend time with those that understand and support you and your lifestyle.

You've done absolutely nothing wrong here and they could learn a lot from your attitude in terms of getting a part-time job and making things easier for your parents.

Q: My sister just lost her job and is really depressed and can't really bear to be around anyone who's planning good stuff, which is awkward as I'm planning my wedding.

She was a workaholic and adored her job and went above and beyond the call of duty - which makes it even harder for her to accept being made redundant.

We share a house so now I'm getting used to seeing a lot of her and being super careful about what I say as she is so sensitive, but surely this can't go on indefinitely?

How can I help her get back on her feet when she won't even go outside?

I'm sorry to hear that your sister is going through a tough time in her life, and it can't be easy for you tiptoeing around her all day. I don't think this will go on indefinitely though.

It's important for people to allow themselves the time to absorb the shock and life change that a job loss brings, but she'll have to pick herself up again soon.

My advice is to be as supportive as possible, but make sure she realises that life has to go on and it's important for her to gather up her strength to move on with her life bit by bit.

If I were you, I would explain to her that you fully empathise with her situation, but you need to live your life too and feel like you can speak to her about your wedding and other topics.

Be positive, encouraging and supportive to her, and suggest she speaks to a therapist or a career-guidance specialist to help her to regain her focus.

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